With just 12 dancers remaining and the same two hours to kill as always, it was time to make the dancers take to the stage twice.
Guest judge Tyce DiOrio joined regulars Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe as we rolled right into the action.
Melissa & Ade: Doriana Sanchez put together a disco routine for Melissa and Ade, who struggled to pick up the style from the outset. It was a high intensity, fast-paced routine that was held together -- featuring some high-flying splits by Melissa -- until she slipped at the very end. But she propped herself right back up. Nigel loved it, saying it was a great start to the night. Mary asked for an "Amen" from the disco gods. Tyce said it was "friggin' great."
Kayla & Kupono: Mia Michaels choreographed a contemporary dance about addiction, which proved to be a challenge for Kupono, who talked about his own family and friend's struggle with drug addiction. Nigel said it was a very powerful piece of choreography, but said he wanted to see Kayla's passion more. He praised Kupono's power. Mary congratulated them for maintaining their intensity from start to finish. Tyce said it was more of an experience than a dance -- and that was a good thing. He called Kayla "a beast."
Caitlin & Jason: Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin put Caitlin and Jason through a foxtrot, which flowed with elegance and grace. Nigel said Caitlin made things look simple when they weren't. He said Jason's footwork was improved and Caitlin was just great. Mary said it was tremendous and Jason looked "cool and suave." She said Caitlin looked like she was floating across the stage. Tyce said they both could have glided a little more, but said it was "well done," overall.
Jeanine & Phillip: Youri Nelzine and Lilia Babenko choreographed a Russian folk dance for Jeanine and Phillip. It was a dizzying display of footwork and spinning. Nigel admitted it might have been a mistake to try this style of folk dancing because it didn't give the dancers enough to work with. Mary focused on the positive, praising each of the dancers for their highlights, but agreed that the full routine didn't give them enough to do. Tyce decided not to take the simple choreography out on the dancers, and he gave the dancers kudos for what they did with it.
Randi & Evan: Tabitha & Napoleon pulled together a hip-hop routine for Randi and Evan in which they portrayed a couple that just found out they were going to have a baby. The crowd roared with approval for the dancers. Nigel said he loved that Tabitha & Napoleon didn't ask the couple to be "urban," they just allowed them to be themselves with a hip-hop feel. Mary said she was expecting a train wreck, but was surprised to see that they did a "great job." Tyce said it was good, but asked Evan to "find more."
Janette & Brandon: An Argentine tango, choreographed by Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici, threatened to be a little too hot for Brandon and Janette to handle. When it came time for Nigel to comment on the dance, he said nothing and just stood up and applauded. He said it was about as close to perfection as he's ever seen on the show for a ballroom routine. Mary said "the temperature sure is rising in here!" She called it outstanding and gave them first-class tickets on the Hot Tamale Train. Tyce called them a "power couple" and said something about orange juice that apparently was intended to tell them how good of a job they did.
Cat Deeley told us that next week, the dancers would all be paired with new partners, and they each talked about what they'll miss about their current partners.
Melissa & Ade: Melissa got emotional while talking about how she'll miss dancing with Ade. Choreographer Ron Montez said they'd be doing a waltz that was a little less than traditional, allowing the dancers to separate from their hold. Nigel said it was "very beautiful," and the choreography played to their strengths. Mary agreed and said Melissa was wonderful, yes she was. Tyce said the dance needed to be as powerful as the music, and said Ade sometimes made it look too easy.
Kayla & Kupono: Kayla said she was going to miss Kupono's positive energy, and he said he'd miss Kayla's sweaty hands and feet. They were headed to Broadway with Joey Dowling number portraying love at first sight. Nigel said they "just danced it" and lacked "true emotion." He said they "danced it well -- I need more now." Mary acknowledged that they might not have latched onto the style, but thought they did a great job. Tyce, a Broadway choreographer, said they needed to get into the floor more, but added that they danced it well and would probably be around for a while.
Caitlin & Jason: Caitlin said she'd miss Jason's really good hugs and his ability to calm her down. Jason said he'd miss Caitlin's quirky personality and jokes. Mandy Moore gave them a lyrical jazz routine. Nigel enjoyed it and said it was obvious that they worked very hard. He said he doesn't always see chemistry between them, but technically they did a good job. Mary said she sees quite a bit of chemistry between them, but "it wasn't magic." Tyce said they were in sync and their lines were beautiful, but he didn't want to see them play it safe and wanted them to take it further, although their work was appreciated and he thought they did a great job.
Jeanine & Phillip: Jeanine said she was taking her impending split with Phillip harder than she thought she would, and that she'd miss Phillip's heart. Phillip said he'd miss her personality. Their final dance together would be a jive with Tony and Melanie. Nigel said it was terrific choreography and the dancers brought it to life. He said it was the best Phillip had done outside of his own style. He added that Jeanine was proving she was one of the best in the Top 10. Mary said she could guarantee Jeanine would be around next week, yes she would. She said Jeanine was on fire. Tyce said they should call "1-888-Fan-Friggin'-Tastic."
Randi & Evan: Randi said she'd miss Evan's "look" he gives her when she's supposed to be into her. Evan said he'd missing laughing with Randi in rehearsal and said, "I know whoever she's partnered with next, they'll be having some good times." They landed a samba with Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis. It was a bit choppy and Nigel didn't seem to like it much and said he didn't see Evan as much of a hot samba dancer. He said it "wasn't as hot as I would like it." Mary said it wasn't quite hot, but "it was a slow sizzle going on." She told Evan to find a little more fire.
Janette & Brandon: Brandon said he was going to miss how Janette brought him out of his shell. Janette said she was going to miss Brandon as a partner because he's extremely talented and, "I don't know if anybody can live up to him." They were set to do a Wade Robson jazz routine. Nigel said they proved "there isn't anything we can't throw at you that you don't do brilliantly." He said he'd be shocked if they didn't get the biggest vote of the night. Mary said they were "the best for last." Tyce said he was "proud and privileged" to be watching it.